Sony has announced that it will update the MiniDisc format to make it better suited to digital music. The new Hi-MD format couples new hardware with an upgraded disc and allows up to 1GB of data to be stored on the new discs. The system is closely linked to Sony’s Atrac 3-plus compression format, so users will have to re-encode music in other formats, such as MP3, although Sony’s jukebox software will do the job without too much user effort. Maximum compression works out to around 45 hours of music on one Hi-MD disc. The company announced several new Walkmans for the format including the MZ-NH1, which can link with a PC via USB, is backwards compatible with existing MiniDiscs and weighs 95g. It will go on sale in Japan and overseas in the second quarter for around $US400.